The Dollarway Cardinals will look to remain undefeated when they open up conference play with a trip to Newport in a battle of unbeatens on Friday.
Dollarway (3-0) is coming off a 36-0 shutout victory at the 8-4A Crossett Eagles whereas Newport (3-0) defeated the 5A-Central Sylvan Hills Bears 30-14 at home. The Cardinals lead the all-time series by the slimmest of margins at 2-1.
Dollarway’s head coach Cortez Lee said his team will be looking forward to the challenge as they open up conference play on the road.
“We are getting ready and prepared for the game,” Lee said. “Even with the nonconference schedule, we are taking it one game at a time. We are looking forward to playing (Newport).”
Dollarway defeated Newport 44-42 last year in overtime at home. Last Friday, the Cardinal’s defense put on an impressive performance including forcing four turnovers and not allowing a first down until late in the fourth quarter.
Lee said his defense just needs to continue to play smart and not make mistakes.
“We just need to do some of the same things that we have been doing,” he said. “I think the guys are continuing to get better each week.
“We need to make sure they keep their responsibilities, play fast and play ready.”
In preseason polls, the league coaches voted Dollarway and Newport to finish first and second, respectively. Lee has a good idea of what he will see from the Greyhounds on Friday and expects to see a good game.
“They (Newport) have a power game,” Lee said. “They have a few guys who give them the edge. They will be vertical and they play like a unit. They look like a sound team.”
With conference play having the most important games of the season, Lee said he continues to look forward to improved quarterback play from his senior leader Joshua Liddell.
“We expect some of the same things as far as him being a leader,” he said. “Our guys look for him to make plays in certain situations and we will expect him to do so going forward.”
Dollarway and Newport are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. at Greyhound field.